Movie Music

Great Music in Old Comedies

There is a lot of great music in old comedies.

The Bob Hope of the 1930s and 1940s was a far different guy than the reactionary character of the 1960s and 1970s. The earlier Hope was funny and had what in those days passed for a streak of anti-authoritarianism. He spent the latter two decades comfortably coasting on cynical hippie jokes and embarrassingly unfunny and horrendously produced television specials. If you didn’t see them, it’s hard to imagine just how lame those shows were.

But, as bad as Hope was as a comedian at the end, he deserves immense credit for continuing to travel to entertain the troops.

The true subversive, of course, was Groucho. Here is the Hello, I Must Be Going/Hooray for Captain Spaulding sequence from Animal Crackers. It is a pure delight, except for the unfortunate racism of the first few moments. Margaret Dumont was just perfect.

Seeing the perpetual innocence of Laurel and Hardy after so many years is like visiting the old neighborhood. This dance is from Way Out West. Oliver Hardy was quite agile for a guy that big. The interesting thing is that Stan Laurel was deeply involved in putting the films together. Hardy — called “Babe” by his contemporaries — couldn’t care less. He played golf until told to show up for shooting.

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Our New Things: Links to Music Sites and Info on Analog Tech and Vinyl

TDMB has focused on music and musicians. We will continue to do that, of course. We're also expanding our coverage to include vinyl and analog equipment.

More specifically, we'll look at this huge and interesting world from the perspective of music lovers who want a better experience, not committed non-audiophiles.

Check out is some of what we've written so far:

-- Assessing the Value of Vinyl Records: An Overview

-- 7 Quick Tips on Optimizing Your Turntable Cartridge

-- Why Vinyl Records Continue to Thrive

-- Finding the Best Amplifier

-- Finding the Best Phono Preamp

-- What Speakers Do I Need for My Turntable?

Check out more articles on analog equipment and vinyl.

The site also is home to The Internet Music Mapping Project, an effort to list and describe as many music-related sites as possible.

Our Music

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.


What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.


The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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